Danny Manning, who had just one winning season in his six years as coach of the Wake Forest men’s basketball team, will not be back for a seventh season with the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest released a statement Saturday morning saying Manning, 78-111 overall and 30-80 in the ACC at Wake Forest, would not return.
“After a comprehensive review of the men’s basketball program, and with the support of President [Nathan] Hatch and University leadership, I have determined that it is time for a change in our head coaching position,” athletic director John Currie said in the statement. “We thank Coach Manning, Julie and Evan for their service to Wake Forest and for their commitment to our student-athletes and the Winston-Salem community over the past six years.”
Assistant coach Randolph Childress will serve as acting head coach, and the school will conduct a national search for Manning’s replacement, according to the release.
Manning, 53, replaced Jeff Bzdelik in 2014 and took the Demon Deacons to the NCAA Tournament in 2017, losing in a First Four game. After the 2017-18 season, Manning received a contract extension that reportedly included an $18 million buyout.
Manning received the contract extension from former athletic director Ron Wellman before he retired, and Currie decided to keep Manning for the 2019-20 season. But Wake Forest went 13-18 — including 6-14 in the ACC — this season, the fifth time in six years Manning’s Demon Deacons posted a losing record both in the conference and overall.
“I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to lead the Wake Forest men’s basketball program,” Manning said in the release. “I am very proud of the numerous student-athletes I had the pleasure of coaching, especially the student-athletes who earned their degrees. I am particularly thankful for all of the hard work my staff has put in through the years. I am so grateful to the Wake Forest community, who have made Winston-Salem a special home for my family and I from the second we stepped on campus in 2014. I wish the program nothing but success going forward.”
Wake Forest hired Manning after he coached two seasons at Tulsa. Prior to that, Manning was on the staff at Kansas, his alma mater, for nine years.
He was the national Player of the Year at Kansas in 1988, his senior season, and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player in helping Kansas win a national title. Manning was the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers and was a two-time NBA All-Star. He was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 1998.